Gay director pleads not guilty

Tony Grew January 19, 2007
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A lawyer for Gus Van Sant, director of My Own Private Idaho, has told a court in Portland, Oregon, that he is not guilty of driving recklessly and drink-driving.

The 54-year-old was arrested on December 21st last year, after police officers spotted him driving at night with no headlights on.

Police allege that the director was slurring his words and had bloodshot eyes when stopped.

They also claim that he had twice the legal amount of alcohol present in his blood.

There will be a further hearing in February.

Van Sant is an out gay man, and many of his films have LGBT characters.

He has used Oregon as the setting for several of his films.

My Own Private Idaho, a cult classic starring the late River Phoenix as a narcoleptic rent boy, had several scenes shot in Portland.

Van Sant’s breakthough movie, Drugstore Cowboy, was also set in Portland.

He is best-known, though, for directing the Oscar-winning film Good Will Hunting.

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